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04.09.2019 Europe

Vienna tops global cities list, Yellow Vests hamper Paris hopes

By Cleo Lahitte with RFI
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
LISTEN SEP 4, 2019
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Vienna is the best city in the world according to the latest rankings published by the  Economist Intelligence Unit. Paris has dropped in the global rankings, mainly because of disruption caused by Yellow Vest protestors.

The French capital has dropped six places to 25th of the 140 cities surveyed.

The City of Light is the highest ranked global capital to have seen a deterioration of its stability.

Stability includes “Prevalence of petty crime”, “Prevalence of violent crime” as well as “Threat of civil unrest/conflict”, all of which have risen since the beginning of the protests in November.

Big cities like London and New York are also weighed down by their criminality rates, not making it into the top ten in spite of their high scores in the culture category.

Vienna keeps the lead
Vienna remains the most livable city in the world, keeping its first place for the second year in a row, with a score of 99.1 on a scale of 100.

The capital of Austria has great public transport. Vienna's tap water comes straight from the Alps, and the city's great air quality all had a positive impact on its ranking.

Australian cities Melbourne and Sydney also get their spot on the podium, with 98.4 and 98.1 respectively. Sydney gained two spots, moving from fifth to third, “thanks to an improvement in its culture and environment score, reflecting an increased focus on combating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, as outlined by the city's 'Sustainable Sydney 2030' strategy," the report says.

Australia has three cities in the top 10, Japan twoi. Overall, north America and Western Europe rank as the most livable regions of the world.

Abidjan and Hanoi have both progressed in the index thanks to improvements made to their health and education systems. With Moscow, Belgrade and Kiev, they are the five cities which have seen their ranking improve the most during the past five years.

Climate changes rankings
For the first time, the index includes the consequences of climate change on living conditions, with New Delhi and Cairo plunging to 118th and 125th places respectively, because of "poor air quality, undesirable average temperatures and inadequate water provision".

Detroit in the United States keeps falling in the ranking, reaching the 56th place, having lost 4.5 spots in the last five years.

Damascus, affected by the war in Syria, is the lowest ranked city with 30.7 points. Lagos (38.5) and Dhaka (39.2) complete the bottom of the table.

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